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A lot goes on behind the scenes. We’d like to show you what we’re getting up to and what’s been inspiring us.

Meet the team: Ben Lampert

Here at HCD, Ben oversees the delivery of each of our developments. He makes sure they’re built on time, on budget and to our optimum standards. To kick off our new ‘Meet the team’ feature, we thought we’d find out more about Ben’s journey from a carpentry apprentice to our Head of Construction.

Carving his path

As a teenager on the cusp of deciding what to do with his future, Ben didn’t want to go to university for the sake of it. He saw others around him trundle through degrees that they weren’t keen on just because it was the ‘right’ thing to do. And Ben didn’t see how that was productive. Instead he decided to learn a trade: a useful skill that he’d always be able to count on. With a methodical mind that could easily visualize the way in which something needed to be put together, Ben chose carpentry.

He found an apprenticeship in central London, not knowing what to expect as he turned up on his first day. Neither of his parents were tradesmen so the advice he’d been able to find was slim. He was immediately thrown into the deep end shadowing a carpenter through what was often meticulous, repetitive work.

Over time, Ben soaked up the knowledge surrounding him and within three years he was fitting kitchens and other woodwork on a large scale. He started at zero and had climbed his way up. (With the scars to prove it!) But unfortunately, Ben had his sights set elsewhere.

 

 

From the work bench to the desk

Ben had become close with the quantity surveyors on his team and believed that he would suit the role, too. Thankfully, his employers agreed with him. And they decided to sponsor Ben through his Quantity Surveying & Commercial Management degree at the University of Westminster. He stayed working with them four days a week alongside his studies as the company grew from a contractor to a large developer.

Ben found that having his previous carpentry experience was invaluable in surveying. Even though he was now turning up to site in a suit, he could relate to the other tradesmen. He had a full understanding of how sites operate and the politics involved, as well as knowledge of the entire process and sequence of a build. Plus, he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.

A reunion

Ben had been friends with Jon, our Managing Director, since secondary school. As boys, they lived two roads away from each other and shared their biggest passion: football. So it was a funny coincidence that once they’d grown up, they ended up in the same industry. And Jon wanted Ben for his team.

They had completely different skill sets that complimented each other well. Jon believed Ben would be able to expand his role as surveyor and so Ben began dealing with even more aspects of the construction process. He was involved with design and procurement decisions as well as surveying, adding extra strings to his bow. Since 2014, he has evolved with HCD, and now manages our entire construction process.

 

 

Ben’s ethos

Ben cares about upholding our level of quality throughout the entire development. He strives to reach each milestone along the way on time – if he’s made a plan, he sticks to it.

Ben loves the feeling of anticipation during the first meeting once we’ve acquired a new site. At that point, we’re making plans to get the ball rolling on a project and it’s always an exciting time. Equally, he says there’s no feeling like finishing a development and getting the sign offs ready to complete for sales. Before that happens we have a beautiful building sat waiting. And then suddenly it has the capacity to become a home.

He’s most proud of Curtain Road (pictured above). It was our first full development acting as both developer and contractor from start to finish.

Looking back, Ben says he’s also very proud of the decisions he made before going to university. He waited to figure out where his passions really lie and now he uses what he learnt every day. We’re pleased with his decisions too because without them, he wouldn’t have had his early years in carpentry. And who else is going to build us some new shelves for the office?

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